I am looking for an online space to sell my artwork. How should I handle e-commerce?
I know there are a lot of third party websites out there that I can sell my art through, but is it worthwhile building an e-commerce function into my website itself? What are the pros & cons?
Building ecommerce into an existing site can be costly unless you use PayPal buttons. I personally think you would be better off building a cart site. Form all the statics I read in regard to selling on line, there are many factors that cause people to not purchase. Have a simple and straight forward checkout is one of them. buttons would then not be a good option.
A third party site may not allow you to build your own identity and commissions would have to reflect how much marketing they would offer to get traffic and sales.
It depends on overall costs too. With SAAS ecommerce platforms you pay per month for the life of your store which can end up being very expensive. You also rely on what plug-ins and modules they offer, so if you need something special, then there is no support. We use Opencart for all our clients and occasionally Magento for complex sites.
We develop for Opencart and its very flexible so I can recommend it. Its not resource hungry which means we can offer clients lower cost hosting on our cloud servers. Or if a client is hosting else where its usual installs without fuss.
I find it great to design for, and am building a portfolio site for a photography at present. The site will sell some of his prints as well.
Its SEO compliant and works with many payment gateways, and there is a good security module with it so wherever you are in the world you should find it a good overall option.
Let me know how you go, I am starting a blog centred around design, art and food soon, maybe I can post an article on it about you and your work.
You can get a BigCommerce or Shopify E-Commerce website that handles most small to medium businesses requirments. We can definitely help with the design of it. The prices for these websites are on a monthly basis so there is not a huge deployment of cash upfront.
Then, you need to determine your target market for your artwork and deploy a number of marketing channels such as E-Marketing, Facebook Ads, Video Ads with Re-targeting and optimizing your website both with Social Media and Search Engine.
Finally, you must manage your online reputation and do web analytics to consistently to improve your sales.
If you want to create your own brand which will lead to higher prices, it is a good idea to have your own domain and website.
But it is also a good idea to sell on third parties websites in addition to your own website as it will generate more exposure and sales for you.
Good Luck and Best Wishes for your new venture!
There are a couple of platforms that are great for ecommerce. Wix is one. Very easy to set up and use. Weebly is another and has, from what I understand, better SEO capabilities.
You can use an ecommerce solution to sell your artwork, but the key is going to be how you cross-market it. If your site uses Google Analytics I would highly recommend the using a ecommerce solution that integrates with the ecommerce tracking so you can an overall picture of the business.
Zoe, one person mentioned Shopify. Shopify is artwork friendly. A past client used Shopify citing an exceptional experience.
Please keep in mind that which ever service provide you chose factor implementation into your planning. 88% of all business owners fail on implementation. Allow for it and factor if into your planning.
Hi Zoe, I would set up a gateway with a shopping cart with Authorize.net or EZIC.com
They both work well. Also I can set up your processing with either of them making sure you get the lowest price point on the fees. They will offer normal pricing points. I always beat them.
310.951.2776 Bryan Lee
Take a look at what www.etsey.com has to offer
Paypal or similar accounts can also be an easy way
Have you tried any of the third party websites at all? I read in your profile that you are new to entrepreneurship. Do you have anyone mentoring you? Do you belong to any entrepreneurship groups?
If you build an e-commerce function into your web site, if you have a WordPress site it's not all that difficult, but if you have a regular web site you might want to make the entire site in a content management system with e-commerce capabilities. But the key question is, if you do include e-commerce on your web site, what is your marketing plan to get people to visit your site in the first place? Do you have a decent following?
I guess the downside of including e-commerce into your web site is the cost of getting that done, and the time it takes to maintain it or the cost of having someone maintain it for you. Are you incorporated or have an LLC to protect yourself? This is vital in protecting your assets and keeping your personal wealth separate from your business.
I just got an LLC for myself; did it myself on the Nevada Secretary of State site--it was really easy, but then I live in Nevada anyway. I'm going to be selling some things on eBay and on Etsy, but I'm also going to build myself an e-commerce site because I'm a web developer and I can do this myself. I don't see why you can't do all three. But remember, if no one knows about your site, you won't sell anything from it and all that money it cost to build the e-commerce extension or redesign the site would be wasted. You need to have a marketing plan within your general business plan.
HTH, and good luck!
Vickie R. Comrie
The first thing you need to decide is "how much time do I want to spend away from making my art?" If that amount is very small, then it may be that dealing with credit card chargebacks and emails about your order form will be too much for you, which means a self-hosted store is the wrong way to go at this time and you should stick with an outsourced service instead.
And the second question is "how important is my brand to my customers right now?" If you are just beginning to build a market you may not have a strong brand, so having your work appear within the constraints of a site like Etsy or Amazon Stores (both of which have space for store graphics, but don't allow you to customize the entire interface or even the shopping pathway) won't hurt but won't help either. If you have an established brand where you want control over all aspects of the cart experience (including look-and-feel of buttons, for example) then a self-hosted solution that allows for massive customization is the way to go. (But keep in mind some of the self-hosted systems don't actually allow for much visual customization, so you may end up with a boring Amazon-ish interface even though you are self hosted.)
Thinking about those two questions will help you decide if you should go the self-hosted store way, and after that you can look at the pros and cons of the various systems.
And keep in mind that your decision doesn't have to be set in stone -- you could decide to spend the next year on Etsy with the goal of being self-hosted by January of 2016. Or (like one of our customers) you could have a self-hosted store for a while and then decide you need to simplify things and move to Amazon's stores (since they deal with the credit cards).
Hi Zoe, have you looked at Shopify? They seem to have a great platform for easy e-commerce set up.
The pros of having your own e-commerce is full control, less commission expenses, being able to do custom design, and ultimately building brand equity.
In case you do decide to go custom then I recommend Wordpress and Woocommerce. The combination of these 2 can yield terrific online shopping experiences. I'm actually building a website right now with these components for an art school and it's really nice.
If you set up your own ecommerce portal, you would have to invest in marketing to drive traffic to your site, and that will take time and cost you money. While you evaluate the right platform and put a promotion plan in place, start getting visibility for your work by promoting it through different ready portal that promote artists like you. Visit one such site www.dolna.com
Also start blogging and get known for your area of artwork in the relevant blog sites.
All the best.
Start a blog about your art. What medium / style do you use? How does it express your inner emotions? Why should others care about your work (what do you appreciate about it?). Develop a following. Start discussions - offer your work up as examples of medium / style / passion / whatever. Create images of rooms with color schemes that look fantastic with your art hanging on walls. Think colors on walls that women like - in rooms like bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, and kitchens because it's most likely the lady of the house that is buying to decorate. Help her see where and how your art will look best. Then provide links to sell each piece of art.
You'll sell a lot of art if you can help people understand why you created what you've created, and why it should be appreciated. The idea is not to sell to anyone that needs art - the idea is to sell to people who believe what you believe.
I recommend placing e-commerce on your website. I also would strongly suggest making use of Social Media venues that are focused on selling and displaying pictures. Do you have a Face Book page? Do an events page on FB and place pictures and prices of your art. These are just the few of many ideas that flooded to the front of my head. I would be happy to chat further with you and come up with a plan for you that fits within your budget.
Viral Concepts Media
KVCM Internet Radio
It is definitely worthwhile adding ecommerce feature to your site. As your name will become popular in the art world, selling through your site will become more profitable.
• You will not have to pay fee to third party site to sell your art.
• Admirers of your art will get the guarantee of original artwork
• You will have to make a small one-time investment in adding ecommerce feature
Here is a link where you can get an idea about cost of ecommerce addition (http://www.fatbit.com/website-design-company/affordable-ecommerce-packages.html). Hope my answer helps
What if there were a way that you could have real buyers lining up to buy? What if your website could funnel buyers like that to your website's own store and/or to ANY other third party store you wish?
There is! That's exactly what I do for my clients. if you want to learn how to do web business the right way, just contact me and I will help you fully understand no matter how long it takes.
1st: Is your art viable?
2nd: Set a brand of image, a logo people will know from the rest if they see thee icon online, or on a crafts d]fair poster MAKE IT ORIGINAL googling the name and icon to make sure it isn't in use. (You can hire someone to do this for you if you wish)
3rd: Get a URL! It is so important to have a home base online that, no matter what happens people know where to find you.
4th: Set up an Etsy or Shopify (only you will have the information as to which is best for you.) Ensuring that your brand and colours are enforced.
5th: Set all the social media and online tools to draw possible customers to your shop.
6th: Use the online tools draw custom to your shop AND get subscribers for what is the most important of tool (although some would argue) a newsletter (monthly).
7th: Keep the update flowing through the social media, show unfinished work, take people on a journey into how you put things together. show a piece of work from beginning to end and then enter it as a competition where people can enter by sharing and retweeting and see how that goes.
Now you now why a loot of people are hiring social media and marketeers. There are no specific pros and cons and every business is different and should be treated as such...
Hope this others input helps and good luck!
I would suggest to build a eCommerce functionality into your website and then get some SEO done to attract traffice. In case you are into something niche, this can be much better solution than putting your art on third party websites.
A website of your own would help to build a more loyal customer base as in your field client tend to visit the same seller repeatedly. It will also help to build a brand in the long run which can lead more sustainability in business.
In addition you can also take feedback from customers and improve on the entire online shopping experience.
Using the various ecommerce software available, the online shop can be built at very reasonable rate.
We recently did something similar for an art gallery in London and they seem very happy with results.
They were into African art ans with some SEO, we were able to place them at top of Google results which brought buyers.
Let me know in you are interested to get ecommerce built in and SEO after that.
Great Idea Zoe, you can even list site in Ebay or amazon use their code in your site, whatever the sell comes it will be on your account, creating e-commerce is always good, but you have to update it on daily basis and payment gateway and other technical stuff needed..
For a women this will be tough to manage your personal art work and site in the same time, give the task to some web development companies or use site those will create a e-commerce for you fully and you will add your product and sell..
Benefits of a bespoke system built into your website is control. A pre-built system means a third party had control. Control covers functionality and design.